Getting to the remote Azura Quilalea Private Island involves an exciting helicopter ride.

Azura Quilalea Private Island | Quirimbas Archipelago Luxury Mozambique Beach Lodge

An isolated retreat, Azura Quilalea Private Island is one of the southernmost islands on Mozambique’s Quirimbas Archipelago. Snorkel or dive straight off the beach in front of your villa at this luxury Mozambique beach lodge, kayak through the mangroves or enjoy a cliff-top massage for the quintessential tropical island experience.

The place

A helicopter flies us across bright blue waters dotted with the miniscule shapes of wooden dhows as they sail past the many islands that make up the Quirimbas Archipelago.I grab my partner’s hand as we slowly descend to our private 34ha island, feeling like we’re in a dream. The sensation continues as we walk through a forest interspersed with ancient baobabs to Azura Quilalea Private Island Lodge.And what a first impression! Nine lavish villas are perched on the water’s edge, a Robinson Crusoe-like island fantasy. We’re even offered the choice of sunrise or sunset views – an easy decision given that we’re late sleepers!

A helicopter flies us across bright blue waters dotted with the miniscule shapes of wooden dhows as they sail past the many islands that make up the Quirimbas Archipelago.

I grab my partner’s hand as we slowly descend to our private 34ha island, feeling like we’re in a dream. The sensation continues as we walk through a forest interspersed with ancient baobabs to Azura Quilalea Private Island Lodge.

And what a first impression! Nine lavish villas are perched on the water’s edge, a Robinson Crusoe-like island fantasy. We’re even offered the choice of sunrise or sunset views – an easy decision given that we’re late sleepers!

The room

Made from locally-sourced materials, with its makuti thatch roof, coral-stone walls and reed-shuttered windows and doors (we leave these open for the enticing sea views and cooling breezes), our beachfront villa invites nature in.The interior is spacious and breezy with island hues of blues and whites, featuring a king-sized bed enveloped in mosquito nets and a separate bathroom with his-and-hers basins that look like upturned shells.We walk onto our private terrace, which has a daybed, seating area, and separate sundeck with loungers facing the ocean. Here, we can look out at the horizon over the impossibly blue waters of this marine sanctuary, perhaps catching a glimpse of a school of dolphin. The coral is just footsteps away – so we kick off our shoes and clothing and run hand-in-hand into the water with our snorkelling gear, eager to discover what wonders lie beneath. Tomorrow we’ll go kayaking.

Made from locally-sourced materials, with its makuti thatch roof, coral-stone walls and reed-shuttered windows and doors (we leave these open for the enticing sea views and cooling breezes), our beachfront villa invites nature in.

The interior is spacious and breezy with island hues of blues and whites, featuring a king-sized bed enveloped in mosquito nets and a separate bathroom with his-and-hers basins that look like upturned shells.

We walk onto our private terrace, which has a daybed, seating area, and separate sundeck with loungers facing the ocean. Here, we can look out at the horizon over the impossibly blue waters of this marine sanctuary, perhaps catching a glimpse of a school of dolphin. The coral is just footsteps away – so we kick off our shoes and clothing and run hand-in-hand into the water with our snorkelling gear, eager to discover what wonders lie beneath. Tomorrow we’ll go kayaking.

What sets it apart

If having your own private butler on an exclusive island – where yours is one of only nine luxury villas – isn’t the epitome of island paradise, I don’t know what is. The only thing that could top our experience would be having the entire island to ourselves (this is indeed an option for families, groups of friends or a really special honeymoon!)Staff at Azura Quilalea Private Island spoilt us with romantic candlelit dinners on the beach, breakfast on the water’s edge and picnics right on the sand; the food was some of the most delicious I’ve tasted and we never ate at the same place twice. Local delicacies such as mangrove crabs and crayfish were just some of the seafood delights on offer.Leisurely walks took us past towering baobabs to the turtle-nesting beach, where we watched in awe as tiny turtles made their perilous way to the ocean.We snorkelled the beautiful coral gardens right off our beach, scuba dived the deeper reefs and went deep-sea fishing. I’ll always remember sipping cocktails while watching the sun go down from the plunge pool, the indulgent massages at the breathtaking cliff-top spa and watching the stars at night from our villa’s telescope. It’s the perfect formula for island romance.

If having your own private butler on an exclusive island – where yours is one of only nine luxury villas – isn’t the epitome of island paradise, I don’t know what is. The only thing that could top our experience would be having the entire island to ourselves (this is indeed an option for families, groups of friends or a really special honeymoon!)

Staff at Azura Quilalea Private Island spoilt us with romantic candlelit dinners on the beach, breakfast on the water’s edge and picnics right on the sand; the food was some of the most delicious I’ve tasted and we never ate at the same place twice. Local delicacies such as mangrove crabs and crayfish were just some of the seafood delights on offer.

Leisurely walks took us past towering baobabs to the turtle-nesting beach, where we watched in awe as tiny turtles made their perilous way to the ocean.

We snorkelled the beautiful coral gardens right off our beach, scuba dived the deeper reefs and went deep-sea fishing. I’ll always remember sipping cocktails while watching the sun go down from the plunge pool, the indulgent massages at the breathtaking cliff-top spa and watching the stars at night from our villa’s telescope. It’s the perfect formula for island romance.

At a glance

  • Private island lodge with nine luxury villas (four kusi villas, four kaskazi villas and Villa Quilalea, which has its own private pool). The lodge has an infinity pool, TV lounge, spa and dive centre.
  • Exclusive island location, private butler, individual dining and flexible schedules.
  • Kayaking, scuba diving and lessons (one free reef dive per day), snorkelling (additional cost), beach picnics, deep-sea fishing (additional cost), dhow sailing, swimming, walking, guided birdwatching (additional cost), turtle nesting (seasonal, additional cost), stargazing, helicopter tours (additional cost), whale watching (seasonal, additional cost), island tours (additional cost), coconut plantation visit (additional cost), spa treatments (additional cost) and cultural visits (additional cost).
  • Children welcome with babysitting available. Certain activities are age restricted.

  • Private island lodge with nine luxury villas (four kusi villas, four kaskazi villas and Villa Quilalea, which has its own private pool). The lodge has an infinity pool, TV lounge, spa and dive centre.
  • Exclusive island location, private butler, individual dining and flexible schedules.
  • Kayaking, scuba diving and lessons (one free reef dive per day), snorkelling (additional cost), beach picnics, deep-sea fishing (additional cost), dhow sailing, swimming, walking, guided birdwatching (additional cost), turtle nesting (seasonal, additional cost), stargazing, helicopter tours (additional cost), whale watching (seasonal, additional cost), island tours (additional cost), coconut plantation visit (additional cost), spa treatments (additional cost) and cultural visits (additional cost).
  • Children welcome with babysitting available. Certain activities are age restricted.

Prices

  • Not only do African safari lodge prices shift with the seasons, they also change based on your length of stay, room type, travel party composition, special offers, if your trip involves stays at sister lodges – and for more reasons besides.
  • It’s worth noting that depending on your itinerary, your lodge cost will make up about 75–85% of your total safari trip cost.
  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, we’d be delighted if you’d allow us to create a bespoke proposal for you.  Simply enquire now – our quotes are complimentary and obligation-free.
  • However, to help you get an idea of safari lodge prices we’ve created three safari-lodge categories with various price ranges, to find out more click here.

  • Not only do African safari lodge prices shift with the seasons, they also change based on your length of stay, room type, travel party composition, special offers, if your trip involves stays at sister lodges – and for more reasons besides.
  • It’s worth noting that depending on your itinerary, your lodge cost will make up about 75–85% of your total safari trip cost.
  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, we’d be delighted if you’d allow us to create a bespoke proposal for you.  Simply enquire now – our quotes are complimentary and obligation-free.
  • However, to help you get an idea of safari lodge prices we’ve created three safari-lodge categories with various price ranges, to find out more click here.

When to Go

The Quirimbas Archipelago has a warm, tropical climate. The cooler, dry, winter season is the best time to visit, as it’s sunny, cloudless and the ocean is still pleasantly warm. June to August are the coolest months, when the southeast trade winds prevail. The best underwater visibility for diving is from May to September. Sailfish season runs from July to December, but other game fish such as yellowfin tuna, dorado and kingfish can be caught year round. Humpback whales pass through from August to October, while sharks and dolphins are commonly seen on dives year round.

This is the hot and wet summer season. It can get very steamy and humid in December and January. The average coastal temperature remains above 30ºC and the rainfall is generally heaviest in March. This is also the cyclone season, although the storms are generally weak in the area. However, if you go at this time, be prepared for regular, short downpours. The air is filled with migrant birds, the skies are beautifully picturesque and you can see whale sharks in the early summer. There’s also good marlin fishing at this time.

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